Winters in Chicago are quite tough. If you're not from here, you'll hate it. On the flip side, if you are from here, there's a pretty good chance that you don't have the kindest of feelings towards it either.
Some of us try to make the best of it as we await the arrival of spring. I like to sometimes go out with a small camera and shoot whatever catches my interest at any given moment.
Sometimes I get lucky and run into some great image opportunities, but more often than not, it's just cold and my fingers can only take so much cold before they start hurting.
I have managed to capture some interesting imagery during a few of such walks.
Above ↑ - The river comes to a standstill as it freezes due to the cold temperatures.
Below ↓ - No matter if it's cold, snowing, sleeting, etc. When January rolls around, you'll see these guys (or gals) in costume advertising a tax preparation business.
Above ↑ - While parks remain open during winter, some areas are restricted or closed due to the snowfall.
Below ↓ - People still don't seem to remember how to drive in winter conditions and end up sliding through intersections and causing traffic accidents.
Above ↑ - Pigeon frozen to death.
Below ↓ - If you live in Chicago, you know what this means.
I've been asked a few times by certain folks, why I put my name in my photo images or in some cases a watermark (faint mark) across a photo.
The reason is actually quite simple. It's my work. I'm proud of what I do and so I put my name on it, just as painters and many other artists do.
In my particular case, I've spent countless hours in class, training and working to perfect my craft in addition to the thousands of dollars spent on schooling, equipment, software and other things that have allowed me to offer such quality work.
It's also a marketing thing. More than 65% of my paid work, comes from folks that I don't know and have contacted me after seeing my name (or website) on an image or photograph that they have liked.
Another reason is to deter theft. The case in point here is of a fellow photographer who recently found out that one of his photos has appeared on a commercial billboard at an undisclosed location. Of course, nobody asked him to use the photo and the only way he'll see any payment from this use of his work, will probably be through some sort of legal process.
We all want exposure for our work and I'm positive he (the image owner) would have made a reasonable sale or exchange of commodities for the use of his work, but that, sadly, was not the case.
This situation has unfortunately happened to me as well and is one of the reasons why I mark my images. Most people understand that and don't give me a hard time about it or "demand" an explanation as it simply makes sense.
A few years ago, a former friend said that having my name on my work as I typically do was "immensely distracting when trying to see, enjoy, and understand a good photo".
-Some "friend" huh?
Well, I'm glad not many folks think that way and no one had [ever] before or since, made such an absurd comment to me in that regard.
Bottom line is, whether it's photography, music or other types of art, if you like something, let the author know you do. Send them a note, a nod or a "like". We love what we do and positive feedback is always a good thing. If you REALLY like something, support that author and allow them to keep doing what they're doing by buying the image or photograph or song or art piece from them. It may not seem like much in some cases, but I can assure you that it means the world to us.
Thank you for your continued support and checking out my website.
Until next time!